31 Oct 2013

Hacking trial: Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson had ‘affair’

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and ex-spin doctor Andy Coulson were having an affair, which had lasted at least six years, a court hears.

"...Finally and the least of our worries, but how do we really work this new relationship?
There are a hundred things that have happened since Saturday night that I would normally share with you... some important, most trivial.
The fact is you are my very best friend. I tell you everything, I confide in you, I seek your advice, I love you, care about you, worry about you.
We laugh and cry together... infact without our relationship in my life, I am really not sure how I will cope.
I'm frightened to be without you... but bearing in mind 'the rules' you will not know how I am doing and visa versa.
The thought of finding out anything about you or your life from someone else fills me with absolute dread.
Also you said I had to email you if anything important happened... like if I was ill? I don't understand this... we are either there for each other or not surely?

Anyway, that really isn't where I am confused. I know what horror it means and I know why we have to stick to it.
But for example, how does this work thing manifest itself. Do we limit contact until we absolutely have too... like leaving our execs to sort run of the mill joint stuff?
I don't want to get this wrong. I hope that I've managed to put your mind at rest about Les..and that you two now have a better relationship.
On KRM, well he's not b********* you must not brood on lack of calls.
Obviously I can't discuss my worries, concerns, problems at work with you anymore.. and visa versa.. but I'll assume unless I hear different that we keep our professional relationship to the minimum.. and avoid if possible without it being in any way awkward.
If it is necessary or more importantly right that we two editors should deal with it, then we will.
If either of us feels that we are not striking this balance then we must say..??"

Ms Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire; Mr Coulson, also 45, from Charing in Kent; former NotW head of news Ian Edmondson, 44, from Raynes Park, south west London; and the tabloid’s ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, 73, from Woodford Green, Essex, all deny conspiring with others to hack phones between October 3 2000 and August 9 2006. Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire has already admitted phone hacking.

Mr Edis went on to tell the jury that key evidence showed that Mulcaire, Brooks, Coulson and Kuttner had been involved in hacking the voicemail of murdered Milly Dowler.

It was the revelation that the Sunday paper had hacked the schoolgirl’s phone which led to the closure of the NotW and the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

The prosecutor said Milly’s family had been through an “agony of hope” as they “yearned for their missing daughter” for months until her body was found in November 2002.

“The prosecution say that the NotW, through Mr Mulcaire, hacked her (Milly’s) phone during that time,” he said.

“We say that Mr Mulcaire did the hacking and Mrs Brooks, Mr Coulson and Mr Kuttner – not Mr Edmondson, he wasn’t around at that time – were criminally involved in the conspiracy which resulted from that phone hacking.”

Mr Edis said Ms Brooks took a particular interest in the Milly Dowler story because of her previous involvement in a campaign surrounding another murdered schoolgirl, Sarah Payne.

Brooks remained with her head bowed and Mr Coulson looked ahead towards the prosecutor as their affair was revealed to the jury.

The court heard that Brooks went on holiday to Dubai in April 2002, but remained in contact with Coulson while she was away.

Mr Edis said: “That’s why you need to have the full context of their relationship – because while she was away she was in contact with him, we say.

“Of course, what I’ve told you may mean that they had all sorts of personal reasons for wanting to remain in contact with each other, but we say to you that it’s clear from the timing of the contact that it was at least partly work-related.”

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